Sunday, December 4, 2016

New Estimate: eCommerce Sales 8.4% in USA

US Census is estimating retail eCommerce sales, after some 20 years of trying, at about 8.4% of all sales. Here is their definition (opens as a .pdf):
E-commerce sales are sales of goods and services where the buyer
places an order, or the price and terms of the sale are negotiated over an Internet, mobile
device (M-commerce), extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, electronic
mail, or other comparable online system. Payment may or may not bemade online.
With mail order catalogs having shifted their order processing from the backrroom to self-service by customers online, and calling that "eCommerce" 8.4% looks rather low.  Mail order catalogs hit that in their heyday back in the mid-1980s.

Amazon is giving away eCommerce services to people working on razor thin margins, and this is the best that can be done?

Anyone pursuing internet as a pure play is delusional.  Use it as self-service order processing, but otherwise make no effect to market online.

Even if 8.4% accurately reflects any new business channel, and I doubt it, it means 91.6% of the market is in brick and mortar.  To concentrate one's effort in the more difficult, expensive and unlikely 8.4% and ignore the easier, less costly to serve, and larger 91.6%, due to some delusion, is unfortunate.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.